Céline and Turgenev's sentiments overlap, a century apart

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than...

Susan Sontag on Emil Cioran

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The human mind possesses now, almost as second nature, a perspective on its own achievements that fatally undermines their value and their claim to truth.

Ben Lerner's Character Once Erred

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

I searched the internet for short quotes from Ortega y Gasset, who I had at one time thought was two people, like Deleuze and Guattari, Calvin and Hobbes.

David Bowie, Lou Reed And Iggy Pop Keep The Ice Unbroken

Monday, 2 December 2019

The first time I met Lou was probably 1973 when I met for the first time both Lou Reed and Iggy Pop at Max's, Kansas City. It was my second or third...

David Bowie Discovers The Irrelevance Of Identity

Thursday, 28 November 2019

I went to see the Velvet Underground when I first got to the States back in '70. At the end of the show I went back, we sat down and we talked for about...

Schopenhauer On Boredom's Harsh Message

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Boredom is nothing other than the sensation of the emptiness of existence. For if life, in the desire for which our essence and existence consists, possessed...

James Kelman On The Philosophical Naivety Of The Present Tense

Monday, 25 November 2019

I wanted the central character active in a present adventure, not recounting the one about a mysterious stranger he once chanced to meet aboard a cargo...

Decca Aitkenhead Encounters Amy Winehouse In A State Of Extreme Fame

Friday, 15 November 2019

'Leave her alone, you dirty scum! Why don't you just leave her alone?' As two paparazzi scramble on to the pavement to catch Amy Winehouse emerging from...

From: Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights (4)

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Alex’s vanity was, like that of the dubious Casanova at the falsifying moment of composition, trapped in the belief that he had a special power, or perhaps...

From: Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights (3)

Monday, 11 November 2019

With the hesitant intellectual years fly by like a day; life is shortened by the yellowing incompletes. The ‘book' - a plaguing growth that does not...

From Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights (2)

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

All the retired people labored and labored for perfection. Additions, new wings, roofs sliced off, stairways turned around, bedrooms on the first floor,...

From: Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

Monday, 4 November 2019

I often think about bachelors. A life of pure decision, of thoughtful calculations, every inclination honoured. They go about on their own, nicely accompanied...

From: V. S. Naipaul, The Mimic Men

Monday, 4 November 2019

They talk of the light of the tropics and southern Spain. But there is no light like that of the temperate zone. It was a light which gave solidity to...

From: George Eliot, Middlemarch

Friday, 1 November 2019

…Lydgate…was at present too ill acquainted with disaster to enter into the pathos of a lot where everything is below the level of tragedy except the...

From: Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

‘Good. Coffee is good for you. It’s the caffeine in it. Caffeine, we are here. Caffeine puts a man on her horse and a woman in his grave. You know what’s...

From: Elif Batuman, The Possessed

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The greatest Old Uzbek didactic writer was the twelfth-century poet Adib Akhmad Yugnakiy. Yugnakiy, who suffered from congenital blindness, demonstrated...

From: Dana Spiotta, Eat The Document

Friday, 25 October 2019

- He began to explain his temporary move back to suburbia, the saga of the failed offspring back at Mom and Stepdad’s. He mock-shuddered as he said the...

From: Alice Munro, Chaddeleys and Flemings

Friday, 25 October 2019

- Work would be what filled their lives, not conversation; work would be what gave their days shape. I know that now. Drawing the milk down through the...

From: Robert Bolaño, 2666

Thursday, 24 October 2019

- One day they had to leave the village. According to her parents they had no choice because the war was coming. Lotte thought that if the war was coming...

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